Manuel Sosa is professor of technology and operations management, the Director of the Heinrich and Esther Baumann-Steiner Fund for Creativity and Business, the creativity-business learning platform and the INSEAD-ArtCenter collaboration. He is also the director of the open-enrollment executive programme "Design Thinking and Creativity for Business (on-line)" and "Design Thnking and Creativity for Business (on campus)" executive programmes.

Professor Sosa’s research efforts are applied to improving the innovative capabilities of organizations. He is particularly interested in investigating how to manage design and creativity in various organizational settings as well as studying coordination and innovation networks in complex organizations. His research has been published in various journals including Management Science, Organization Science, Manufacturing&Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, Research in Engineering Design, and Harvard Business Review. His research has been nominated twice for best paper award in the ASME Design Theory and Methodology conference. His research about "managing design" has received several awards at both INFORMS and Academy of Management conferences.

Professor Sosa teaches in the MBA, PhD, and Executive programs covering topics related to innovation management and creative thinking. His teaching achievements include the development of a program with the Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, California) to integrate design and business thinking for successful innovation. Such a programme was initiated in 2005 and has run successfully on a yearly basis ever since. He has received the Dean’s commendation for excellence in MBA teaching multiple times. He was runner-up for best professor award for his MBA elective course on creative thinking in Singapore in 2012 and 2013, and he was the winner of this teaching award in July 2021.

Professor Sosa received his BS degree in mechanical engineering from Universidad Simón Bolívar (Caracas, Venezuela) and his SM and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His work experience of includes systems engineering in the petrochemical industry, and development and deployment of computer-aided engineering software applications in the automobile and aerospace industries.

To download copy of my CV, please click here.

You can access my Google scholar profile here.

On twitter @msosa_innovate

Research Interests

  • Design and creativity in innovation management (Watch here my TEDx talk along with a knowledge article for a preview on this line of research)
  • Social networks in innovative organizations
  • On-line reviews in operations management
  • Architecture of complex products


Refereed journal articles:

  1. Sosa, M., S. Eppinger, M. Pich, D. McKendrick, S. Stout. 2002. Factors that influence technical communication in distributed product development: an empirical study in the telecommunications industry. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 49(1): 45-58.
  2. Sosa, M., S. Eppinger, C. Rowles. 2003. Identifying modular and integrative systems and their impact on design team interactions. ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 125(2): 240-252.
  3. Sosa, M., S. Eppinger, C. Rowles. 2004. The misalignment of product architecture and organizational structure in complex product development. Management Science, 50(12): 1674-1689.
  4. Sosa, M., S. Eppinger, C. Rowles. 2007. A network approach to define modularity of components in complex products. ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 129(11): 1118-1129.
  5. Sosa, M. 2008. A structured approach to predicting and managing technical interactions in software development. Research in Engineering Design, 19(1): 47-70.
  6. Sosa, M. 2011. Where do creative interactions come from? The role of tie content and social networks. Organization Science, 22(1):1-21 (lead article).
  7. Sosa, M., J. Mihm, and T. Browning. 2011. Degree Distribution and Quality in Complex Engineered Systems. ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, 133(10): 101008:1-15.
  8. Sosa, M., J. Mihm, and T. Browning. 2013. Linking Cyclicality and Product Quality. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management 15(3): 473–491.
  9. Sosa, M., F. Marle. 2013. Assembling creative teams in new product development using creative team familiarity. ASME Journal of Mechanical Design 135(8): 081009:1-13.
  10. Sosa, M. 2014. Realizing the need for rework: From task interdependence to social networks. Production and Operations Management 23 (8): 1312–1331.
  11. Sosa, M., M. Gargiulo, C. Rowles. 2015. Can informal communication networks disrupt coordination in new product development projects? Organization Science 26(4): 1059–1078.
  12. Gargiulo, M. and M. Sosa. 2016. Common third parties and coordination disruptions
    in new product development organizations
    . Journal of Product Innovation Management 33(2): 132-140. (Special issue on social networks in new product development)
  13. Chan, T. H., J. Mihm, M. Sosa. 2018. On styles in product design: An analysis of US design patents. Management Science 64(3): 1230-1249. (Winner of 2015 POMS College of Product Innovation and Technology Management’s Best Student Paper Award)
  14. Liu, H., J. Mihm, and M. Sosa. 2018. Where do stars come from? The role of star versus non-star collaborators in creative settings. Organization Science 29(6): 989-1236. (Published in the Best Paper Proceedings of the 2013 Academy of Management Meeting. Finalist for TIM Division’s Best Student Paper Award)
  15. Chan, T. H., J. Mihm, M. Sosa. 2020. Revisiting the role of collaboration in creating breakthrough inventions. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, in press. (Finalist for 2018 INFORMS TIMES Best Working Paper Award. Featured in Harvard Business Review’s Idea Watch March-April 2020).
  16. Cho, H., S. Hasija, and M. Sosa. 2021. Reading between the stars: Understanding the effects of online customer reviews on product demand. Forthcoming at Manufacturing & Service Operations Management.

Working papers :

  1. Martinez-de-Albeniz, V., M. Sosa, M.,and C. Carrera. 2020. The bright side of bad choices: Evidence from restaurant exploration. INSEAD Working paper. Presented at MSOM Annual Conference 2019 in Singapore in July 2019. Submitted to Management Science.
  2. Sosa, M. and M. Maoret. 2020. Close to me: Studying the interplay between physical and social space on collaboration effectiveness. Working paper. Presented at Symposium on “Micro-geography of organizations” at the Academy of Management Meeting 2018. Accepted for presentation at the Strategy Management Society conference in September 2018. To submit to Organization Science.
  3. Lee, S. and M. Sosa. 2020. Spaces for creativity: The role of physical environment on creative problem solving. INSEAD Working paper. To submit to Organization Science.
  4. Cho, H., S. Hasija, and M. Sosa. 2019. How important is design for the automobile value chain? INSEAD Working paper 2015/86/TOM. (Revising it for journal submission).
  5. Sosa, M., H. Park, R. Basole. 2017. Bicentric diagrams: A novel approach to manage design changes of interdependent components in complex systems. INSEAD Working paper 2017/47/TOM

Managerial journal and book chapters :

  1. Sosa, M., S. Eppinger, C. Rowles. 2007. Are your engineers talking to one another when they should? Harvard Business Review (November).
  2. Sosa, M., J. Mihm. 2007. Organization design for new product development. Chapter for Loch, C. and Kavadias, S. (eds) Handbook of New Product Development Research.
  3. Sosa, M. 2009. Coordination networks in product development. Book chapter for Kleindorfer, P. and Wind, Y. (eds) The Network Challenge.
  4. Sosa, M. 2012. Organization and Domain Mapping Examples based on Pratt&Whitney Jet Engine Design. Invited chapters for Browning, T. and Eppinger, S. (eds) Applications and Methods of Design Structure Matrix (DSM).
  5. Browning, T., J. Mihm, and M. Sosa. 2013. Using hubs and cyclicality to relate software architecture and quality. CrossTalk.
  6. Sosa, M. 2018. The value of good design: How design can boost social impact and business results. IESE Insight 37 (2): 24-31. Special issue on Transformation Through Design Thinking (Also published in IESE Business Magazine Fall 2018)
  7. Chan T., J. Mihm, and M. Sosa. 2019. When individuals are more innovative than teams. Harvard Business Review (on-line).

Papers on refereed conference proceedings

  • Liu, H., J. Mihm, M. Sosa. 2013. Do gurus breed gurus? An analysis of collaboration in design. Best Paper Proceedings of the 2013 Academy of Management Meeting.
  • Chan, T.H., J. Mihm, and M. Sosa. 2012. A Structured Approach to Identifying Styles in Design. Accepted in the proceedings of ASME Design Theory and Methodology conference.
  • Sosa, M., and F. Marle. 2010. Forming creative teams: An experimental approach. Proceedings of ASME Design Theory and Methodology conference.
  • Sosa, M. and M. Danilovic. 2009. A structured approach to re-organize for creativity. International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED'09.
  • Sosa, M., T. Browning, and J. Mihm. 2007. Studying the dynamics of software architectures. 19th ASME Design Theory and Methodology Conference. "Best Paper Award" nomination.
  • Sosa, M. 2007. Aligning process, product, and organizational architectures in software development. International Conference in Engineering Design, ICED'07.
  • Sosa, M., A. Agrawal, S. Eppinger, and C. Rowles. 2005. A network approach to define modularity of product components. 17th ASME Design Theory and Methodology Conference.
  • Sosa, M., S. Eppinger, and C. Rowles. 2000. Designing modular and integrative systems. 12th ASME Design Theory and Methodolgy Conference. "Best Paper Award" nomination.

Research in progress

  • Studying survival in restaurant networks (with V. Martinez-Albeniz, C. Carrera). Data collection completed. Further analysis in progress.
  • Identifying the drivers of big styles in product design (with T. Chan and J. Mihm). Data collection completed. Further analysis in progress.
  • The life cycle of cycles in product architectures (with T. Browning and J. Mihm). Data collection completed. Further analysis in progress.
  • Estimating the return on design (with C. Pennetier and J. Mihm). Data collection completed. Further analysis in progress.
  • Product architecture and bug fixing (with J. Mihm and T. Browning). Data collection completed. Analysis in progress.
  • A dynamic view of the “mirroring” hypothesis (with J. Mihm, T. Browning). Data collection completed.

Design Thinking and Creativity for Business (on campus)

This FIVE-day, highly experiential, open enrollment programme will help managers become innovation catalysts in their organizations. It builds upon our 15-year long partnership with ArtCenter College of Design in California, one of the most influential design schools in the world, to offer a unique experiential learning to help managers integrate creative thinking with their business thinking. Business participants in this programme will collaborate in-person with industrial designers to experience how to enable successful creative collaborations. Click here for more details on this programme.

Design Thinking and Creativity for Business (on-line)

This five-week ON-LINE open enrollment programme allows managers to take on a hands-on learning journey that will help them develop the creative-thinking skills needed to innovate in any organisational context. Participants joining this programme will carry out an Action Learning Project tailored to their organisation’s context. Such a project will allow participants closely collaborate with design coaches thoughout the programme. Click here for more details on this programme.

Creative Garage

A dedicated space for students, alumni and executives in which they can generate and exchange creative ideas that integrate design and business thinking. We partnerted with Eight Inc (a world class leading design firm) to conceptualize, designe, and developed this space to teach our "Creative Thinking" MBA courses as well as our "Innovation By Design" Executive programmes. In addition, any MBA or Exec Ed course that requires a dedicated space to spark creativity in an experiential teaching will be using this space.

We are also using this space to carry out experimental research to study how the physical space influences creative problem solving. Click here to watch a video to learn more about the Creative Garage initiaitve.

INSEAD-Art Center Collaboration

The INSEAD-ArtCenter collaboration focuses on integrating design and business thinking for succesful innovation management. This collaboration is supported by the Heinrich and Esther Baumann-Steiner Fund for Creativity and Business and the Creativity-Business Learning Platform.

As part of our MBA program, every year ten design students from the Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA) come to INSEAD for four months to learn about structured managerial methods. Their participation in our program provides us with the opportunity to collaborate with people with strong training and background in industrial design. For MBA participants collaborating with designers provides an opportunity to learn the value of using structured methods for creativity generation and presenting ideas in a holistic way through graphical or physical objects. This is relevant in many areas of the firm in which having distinct problem solving capabilities provides special competitive advantage.

The following selected press articles provide further details about the collaboration between INSEAD and the Art Center College of Design:

A core course in the INSEAD/ArtCenter collaboration is the MBA course series entitled "Creative Thinking". This course series is currently structured in two modules:

Creative Thinking

This MBA course elective covers three important phases in product and service development: Strategic planning, concept creation, and concept realization. First, the entire class selects the product ideas that will be developed into product concepts. Then, interdisciplinary teams (with at least one designer on it) are assigned to develop one of the selected ideas. Each team carries out market research, concept generation, early prototyping, and concept selection to define a final product concept. Then, each product/service concept is architected and developed in further details. Prototyping and user testing is conducted to resolve uncertainties associated with their product concept. Finally, teams develop a plan for product launch.

Click here to download the course outline

See here an article about our collaboration with Disney during the last two edition of this course.

• “Design, Business & Brand: How Creativity Becomes Innovation”, July 13, 2015.

• “A Matchmaker for Public-Private Partnerships”, April 2018

Creative Thinking (Fieldtrip)

This module is a "Reality check" that takes MBA and Design participants to Southern California, not only to visit the Art Center (and learn how Design is taught) but also to visit design studios of companies from various industries and learn how they manage the design/business interface.

Pedagogical material

  1. M. Sosa. 2021. A Virtual Reality (VR) visit to Tekka Market (Little India, Singapore). A VR immersive experience to learn user-centered innovation. INSEAD VR Immerse Experience (pre-release).
  2. Baehr, T. and M. Sosa. 2021. FLYDESK – Empowering the “Modern Working Lifestyle”(A)&(B) INSEAD Case 07/2021-6610 (with Teaching Note).
  3. Atasu, A. and M. Sosa. 2021. Re-Designing a VHS Tape for Circularity. INSEAD case 05/2021-6670 (with Teaching Note).
  4. Martínez-de-Albéniz, V. and M. Sosa. 2019. :)isfrutar. IESE-INSEAD case (in preparation).
  5. Carrick, A., J. Mihm, and M. Sosa. 2018. McKinsey and LUNAR: Acquiring a design firm. INSEAD Case 10/2018-6374
  6. Carrick, A., M. Sosa. 2018. Eight Inc. and the Apple retail stores. INSEAD Case 12/2018-6303
  7. Vissa, R., M. Pich, and M. Sosa. 2017. Public Sector Service Design: Designing the Employment Pass Service Centre for the Ministry of Manpower, Singapore. INSEAD Case 08/2017-6145
  8. Grover, A. M. Sosa. 2018. The journey behind “My INSEAD Story”. INSEAD Case 06/2018-6116
  9. Singh, A., M. Sosa. 2018. Joyful Frog Digital Incubator: Accelerating Start-ups. INSEAD Case 06/2018-6136
  10. Carrick, A., M. Sosa. 2018. Unilin. INSEAD Case (revised pre-release).
  11. Desawar, T., M. Sosa. 2016. Bringing Design to OCBC Bank. INSEAD Case (pre-release)
  12. Desawar, T., M. Sosa. 2016. Designing a New Bank for GenY: FRANK by OCBC. INSEAD Case (pre-release)
  13. Carrick, A., M. Sosa. 2015. Design at Belkin. INSEAD Case (pre-release)
  14. Carrick, A., H. Greve, and M. Sosa. 2014. Handpresso: From an innovative idea to an alliance portfolio. INSEAD Case
  15. Carrick, A., H. Greve, and M. Sosa. 2014. Handpresso (C). INSEAD Case
  16. Carrick, A. M. Sosa, and B. Strousse. 2011. Handpresso (A&B). INSEAD Case 11/2011-5841. iPad version of this case is available upon request.
  17. Carrick, A-M. and M. Sosa. 2011. Bazile Telecom. INSEAD Case 05/2011-5755.
  18. Carrick, A-M. and M. Sosa. 2011. Mimijumi. INSEAD Case 03/2011-5778.
  19. Loch, C. and M. Sosa. 2008. Managing Development Complexity in the Design of mini-MAX. Class simulation.
  20. Bhavnani, R. and M. Sosa. 2006. IDEO: Service Design (A&B). Winner of the 2008 ecch European Case Awards, in the production and operations management category. iPad version of this case is available upon request.
  21. Balmes, C. and M. Sosa. 2005. R&D Management at Universal Luxury Group – Perfumes and Cosmetics Division (A&B). INSEAD Case 07/2006-5260.
  22. Sosa, M. 2002. Bottle Design at Green Beverage Corporation (GBC). INSEAD Case 06/2002-5046.

MBA Core course

During the 2004-2008 period, I taught the MBA core course on Process and Operations Management (POM). POM concerns the business processes used to produce and deliver goods and services to customers, or, more succinctly, POM studies how organisations “actually do things.”

Executive Education

  • Design, direction, and teaching of "Design Thinking and Creativity for Business" open-enrollment programmes (both on-line and on campus versions)
  • GEMBA: Key Management Challenge on "Creative Thinking"
  • Both opened enrollment and company specific programs
  • Topics include: Design and creative thinking; innovation management, project management, R&D organizations


  • Empirical Methods in Technology and Operations Management (2005-present)
  • Technology Management Seminar (2002)
  • Technology Management Workshop (2003)


  • INSEAD’s MBA Best Teacher of Elective Courses Award in Singapore campus July 2021 (for Creative Thinking course)
  • Nominated for INSEAD best professor award for MBA elective course (Singapore 2012, 2013)
  • INSEAD Dean's Commendation for excellence in MBA teaching (2009, 2011-16, 2019-21)
  • Winner of the 2008 ecch European Case Awards in the Production and Operations Management category with the case "IDEO: Service Design (A)". This has been the eccb Best Selling Case in Production and Operations Management for the period 2007-2015


Manuel Sosa
Professor of Technology and Operations Management

Director of the Heinrich and Esther Baumann-Steiner Fund for Creativity and Business

Director of the creativity-business learning platform

Director of the INSEAD-ArtCenter Collaboration

INSEAD Asia Campus
1 Ayer Rajah Avenue (Office: 506)
Singapore 138676

Tel: +65 6799 5360
Email: [email protected]

On twitter @msosa_innovate

Assistant: Less LIM

Tel: +65 6799 5320

Email: [email protected]

You can download a copy of my CV here.

Innovation Palette is a platform that provides insights on innovation management based on my research, teaching, and professional experiences.

Click here to visit Innovation Palette's website.

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